The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the final rule to clarify the grazing standards for organic dairy and beef production.
Animals must graze pasture during the grazing season, which must be at least 120 days per year; animals must obtain a minimum of 30 percent dry matter intake from grazing pasture during the grazing season; producers must have a pasture management plan and manage pasture as a crop to meet the feed requirements for the grazing animals and to protect soil and water quality; and livestock are exempt from the 30 percent dry matter intake requirements during the finish feeding period, not to exceed 120 days. Livestock must have access to pasture during the finishing phase.
Comments on these provisions alone may be submitted before April 19. The specific questions to consider and instructions for submitting comments are available at www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/NOP.
The rule, as a whole, goes into effect June 17.
Reprinted in part from Brownfield Ag News for America